Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
♥ them. :)
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Mercedes has very large, prominent tears (balancing on her chin). They are too cute & such a part of who she is.
So yesterday with the morning sun arose Sickie #2. Oh, joy. When Jaguar doesn't feel well, you can see it all over her face. Poor girl. Thus far it's just the awful cold with no cough. Hopefully she'll escape that part.
We had family coming over tomorrow night, but rescheduled. Nonetheless, TGIF! We have been cooped up too long & hopefully this weekend, we can get out of this house! Ü
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Since Sunday evening, we have also discovered some other revelations. Such as, the incredible expense our immediate future holds to have her properly evaluated & treated. We have already run out of the 1st bottle of medication she needs "indefinitely". It didn't even last 48 hours. It is approximately $18 a bottle. Second, it looks as if she is losing bladder control. She is battling chronic UTI's, which we now know are related to her liver shunt. Nonetheless, it's just one more issue.
The procedures Cassie still faces are: a proper Bile Acid test just to confirm she does indeed have a Liver Shunt (even though there is not much doubt at this point) & to see where her level is, the dye test to locate the shunt, a sonogram to see if she does indeed have kidney stones (which is a strong possibility due to her liver not filtering), surgery to remove the stones if there are any, surgery to have her spayed, surgery to for dental work/remove a few double teeth, & ultimately surgery to remove the shunt. Total cost? Approximately an easy $5,000+. Truth be told, we just don't have that type of money. As much as we want to, we just can't afford that.
I seem to think Cassie does not have a severe liver shunt. Reason? When she came to us, she was not in this condition. She played, she barked, she socialized. She also was on different food. We immediately changed her food to a higher quality brand. I'm wondering if the food change had the most impact on her. I'm also curious if there is a substantial difference in protein in the brand we switched her to versus her previous brand. Possibly, that is the reason she deteriorated at a slow pace, as her system adjusted to the new food. Because it progressed slowly, we didn't notice the subtle changes. Then wham! Her disorder fiercely attacked.
Obviously we don't want to give up on Cassie - she is sweet, cute & we ♥ her. We just didn't know which direction, if any, to take next. We now have a plan.
1.) Purchase one more bottle of the medication, lowering her dosage to the very minimal - not only to see if we can stretch the bottle, but to see if she can tolerate a low dose. She was on no medication when we got her & she managed well. Wondering if this could be the case again.
2.) Keep her on a low protein, high quality food. (Funny - the vet on Sunday switched her to a low protein, can food. Let me tell you, Cassie thinks she has won the lottery! LOL She is eating & eating & eating (I am monitoring!) - she's probably up a pound from her weight on Sunday night! She'll be sad to know we will probably switch her back to dry. Teehee.)
3.) Order a bladder supplement to help with her recurring UTI's. I have read rave reviews on the internet about a holistic treatment/approach & I think we have nothing to lose by giving it a shot.
So there you go! Baby steps. For our 5th baby. Pray for us. Ü
*Hubby just picked up a refill of Cassie's "indefinite" medication. Unlike the first bottle, he said this bottle is "huge!". Yay! We suspect that the vet gave us a tiny bottle to be sure it was effective before supplying the larger amount. That is just so super! We still will conduct the 'trial & error' though, as the vet suggested, to see how well she manages on a lower dose (Cassie has side effects with the higher dosage she started on - the object is to diminish the side effects, while still managing her liver disorder). Now that we know it's not as expensive, refilling it will be a non-issue. Ü
Also, because I rarely post without interruptions, my posts can be choppy. Many times I have to start & stop before completing a post. Frustrating. That said, as I forgot to mention above, once we implement changes 1-3, if Cassies continues to do well, we most definitely will get her the remaining medical treatments she needs. Because of cost, we'll have to do one step at a time, but even the vet recommended that, so that's ok. We'll start with the spaying 'cause, we don't want a repeat of what happened at Christmastime. ;o)
Monday, February 22, 2010
Because Cassie responded so quickly to treatment, the vet feels confident we are dealing with Liver Shunt & not a neurological disorder. Ü
We have a long & expensive road ahead. More lab work, kidney sonogram, test (can't recall the proper term right now) where they'll shoot dye through her system to locate the Liver Shunt, & possible surgery. In the meantime, it's trial & error with medication - they put her on the highest dosage(s) possible because of her rapid, deteriorating condition (the vet did confirm that Cassie probably would not have made it thru the night) last night. We need to find a happy medium - bring the dosage down, yet keep the symptoms at bay. Most importantly, she will remain on an extremely low protein diet, due to her liver not filtering properly. Cassie's lifespan has instantly decreased (sniff, sniff), but if we can get all this regulated & managed, she should be able to live a somewhat long, healthy life.
Let me introduce you to the reason I'm not particularly fond of flash:
Teehee. But ain't she cute? And she's alive! Ü
Sunday, February 21, 2010
*Within about an hours span, we went from calling the vet to have Cassie put down, to driving her to an emergency vet, who we feel confident has diagnosed her properly! As far as we know, Cassie has a Liver Shunt. Basically, her liver does not function properly (probably because of her size...she weighed 5.4 lbs. tonight), & the high protein food she was on was killing her.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Because Mercedes relates any medical facility to her Endocrinologist appointments (where lab work is completed), dr. visits with her are not much fun. Totally understandable, but not much fun. The last several times she has been to the dr., nurses have been unsuccessful at getting her vital signs because Mercedes is just too upset. Thus far, no medical establishment has had an issue with it.
She was fit to be tied yesterday because not only was she ill, but due to being ill, she has had very little sleep. Just flat out cranky. Again, totally understandable.
We were able to get her weight & height & into the waiting room we went. I sat Mercedes on the waiting table & the nurse came in with the blood pressure equipment. I tried to explain to the nurse that at the last few dr. visits, nurses have been unsuccessful retrieving her vitals. The nurse just looked at me blankly like I was crazy. Alrighty then.
So on goes the cuff & Mercedes went ballistic, just as I predicted. She kept trying to remove it while saying "No, don't want to! No, take it off!" while huge, crocodile tears fell. I felt bad for her because she just didn't feel well & agitation was making it worse.
At that point, the nurse shut the machine off. She put on the most serious face she could find (no grin, no smirk, no smile, no nothing!) & stared my Mercedes right in the face/eyes. Mercedes began to simmer down. The nurse continued to glare her in the face & said "are you finished?" all the while never taking her eyes off of Mercedes. Mercedes didn't answer - she had no clue what the lady meant, but the nurses' serious/hateful glare had her completely intimidated. The nurse said again "are you finished? Because I'm just going to wait until you are".
At this point, I'm thinking, what the hell? In my mind I was trying to get a game plan. Is the nurse just teasing with her? If so, when is she going to smile? (She never did, by the way.) Or is she serious? What do I do? Grab my baby & get the heck out of there? Speak up, & instruct her to immediately stop treating my child that way? How dare her! I had tried to "break the ice" (or, "break the eye contact") numerous times, but the nurse totally ignored me & continued to glare at Mercedes. This continued for a good 12 - 15 seconds. No, that's not a lot of time. But trust me, count it out while intimating a sick child that just turned 2 & actually, it is quite a long time. Mercedes just stared back her - now that some time has passed, I think she was terrified. I was a little terrifed myself. Creepy.
Finally, the nurse turned away & the visit continued. She wasn't rude after that, but she wasn't friendly, either. Then the "physician's assistant" came in (she wasn't that friendly either!) & we wrapped up the visit.
Because Mercedes is sick & because I am sick & all that's going on - I kind of just forgot about the incident. Obviously, not subconsciously. It kept me up almost all night. Now that I've had time to process what happened, I'm a little angry. How dare a professional treat my child, any child, in that manner. We weren't there because we had nothing to do on a Friday afternoon & wanted to blow a co-payment, we were there because I had a sick baby who needed some medication. I'm also disturbed. I should have intervened immediately but I think I was caught so off guard, I just didn't know how to react.
I've decided to write a letter to the Office Mananger. Or, maybe I should just give her a call on Monday. Hopefully this was an isolated case but nevertheless, I think I should let them know. And to portray yourself as a Christian organization & have this type of behavior demostrated to patients? To children? Disgusting. I guess I won't transfer the children's medical records until this is resolved.
The best part? The nurse tried to get Mercedes' blood pressure a 2nd time. And failed. Giggle. Ü
Friday, February 19, 2010
Thursday, February 18, 2010
Poor baby almost always has something stuck to her little mouth. This was a sock sticker. Ü
This was trash. Typically it's a leaf.
Today I was talking to hubby. I told him, because of her "ups & downs", I didn't think she was going to live long.
I let her out for a while today because it was warmer & the sun was out. Not 10 minutes after hanging up w/ hubby, I went out to check on her. And saw this:
I don't know if there is something wrong with her or not. Possibly she's older than we originally thought. Because she was abused for quite some time - heck, the lady could have easily lied about her age. She refused to mail Cassie's registration papers (maybe that's why?), so I wouldn't put it past her.
Cassie is so cute. Boring, but cute. We ♥ her. She keeps us on our toes, that's for sure. Hopefully she'll be with us for many years to come. ♥
(inside - snapshots. outside - manual.)
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
The girls & I headed on our typical trek to get groceries. Soon after entering the store, we discovered about 4 baskets full of Valentine's items - 50% off. I thought I was going to hyperventilate, but I didn't. However, I certainly stopped to peek.
As I'm standing there looking as frumpy as frumpy can get (I kid you not - dirty sweats, a t-shirt covered up with a sweatshirt jacket because I guess I thought it was 20 below in there, dirty hair up in a clip (& not a 'good' clip, my good clip broke this a.m. so I had to use an alternative & it was horrible), not a lick of makeup, glasses smudged, etc. I think I looked a little homeless. Anyway, here came another mom to look at the Valentine's goodies. Dressed all proper, obviously showered, perfect hair & perfect makeup. Oh goodie goodie.
She began to browse. Let me tell you. This chick was so tickled pink with the sale, she felt the need to include me in all her findings. She started with "your girls are just beautiful". "Thank you", I said. That was just the beginning.
Her: Oh my! This stuff is 50% off!
Me: Oh I know. Great deals for next year.
I keep browsing.
Her: Again: Your girls are so pretty.
I smile & say "thank you".
I keep browsing.
Her (with some decorations in her hand): I have one in college & I'm looking for scrapbook stuff.
Me: Oh, I see. Those are cute.
Me: Jaguar, look at the Valentines! You'll be in school next year & need some for friends.
Her: The cookies are only .75 cents!
Me: Wow. Good deal.
I keep browsing.
Me: Jaguar, do you like these?
Her: This stuff is great! You could even use these for birthday decorations.
Me: Yah, what a good idea.
I keep browsing.
Me: Jaguar, here are some kitties, do you like them?
Me: These have tattoos! Do you like these?
(Seeing a pattern here with Jaguar.)
I keep browsing.
Her: If you go to the back, where the seasonals are kept, you can get plates & napkins (she holds both of them up to show me) - all on sale!
Me: Cool. I'll have to run by that section.
By now I'm thinking "WOMAN! Shut up! I can't even think!" (My thoughts weren't quite that um...pure.)
I keep browsing.
Me: Jaguar look! They even have really cute little gift bags.
Her: If you dig deep enough, they even have ones with tissue paper tucked in them!
Me: Oh, ok!
Her: You could even use these for Christmas!
By now, my eyes were crossing.
Me: Jaguar, I'll tell you what. Let's go get what we need to get & we'll come back by.
Her: Again: Your girls are so cute.
Me: Thank you. Happy Shopping!
I was exhausted before we even started. I was so rattled, by the time we were finished shopping, I completely forgot to go back to the sale items, thus missing the bargains. Thanks a lot, Ms. Peppy.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
And this is what happens when daddy 'watches' baby. She couldn't see a thing. Baha! Ü
Building a snowman. Sorta. :)
Can you believe how wet Jaguar was? Even though she had on multiple layers, she had to be numb!
Bentley was in trouble, so he couldn't play outside. :(
Being we live in Texas, we aren't very experienced.
Mr. Snowman fell over a few hours later. Ü
(no snapshots. all manual.)
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Me: Some people are born blind, & some people lose their vision due to different factors.
Hubby: Some people have difficulty seeing, but with technology, their vision is restored. Like Grandpa G. He recently had cataracts removed & he can see so much better now.
Me: Cataracts are something most elderly people develop - it's like a gray cloud sitting on their eye & can interfere with them seeing well. Now-a-days, they can visit a dr. & have those cataracts removed.
Audi: Do they put them to sleep?
Hubby: No, not for a procedure like that. They do one eye at a time & the patient, like Grandpa G, is awake. The laser procedure doesn't take long.
Audi: So, how can people lose their eyesight?
Hubby: Accidents, medical reasons, things like that.
Me: Just like my eye spells. If I get too many of them & they cannot be controlled, I have a strong possibility of losing my vision. (Yes, I love having that hanging over my head! Scary.) That is why I take medicine(s), to help prevent them.
Audi: So you could go blind?
Me: Yes, I could, but don't worry about it. It's likely not to happen.
Bentley: Mom, what's a stink bomb?
I ♥ that my adorable 5 year old calls me "sweetie".
I ♥ that my precious 2 year old smiles non-stop. And I mean non-stop.
I ♥ that my 1 year old is a girl & that she is so darling & irresistible.
I ♥ this crazy internet, even though I never wanted it.
I ♥ that my husband has more patience with me than my 'parents' ever did.
I ♥ that my husband is one of the best people I know.
I ♥ love pink roses.
I ♥ dreary, rainy days.
I ♥ swinging in my hammock.
I ♥ driving around for no particular reason, with no where to go.
I ♥ love vacations & staying in expensive hotels (thanks hubby).
I ♥ bathing my children.
I ♥ that my brother is finally living a life he deserves.
I ♥ that my brother married the coolest girl on earth.
I ♥ that my children are happy, sociable & well behaved.
I ♥ the fact that I ♥ doing things with my children that other people complain about doing with theirs.
I ♥ love that I'm a great mom.
I ♥ that I can't get enough of my children.
I ♥ when my toes are painted immaculately.
I ♥ a fresh haircut.
I ♥ backrubs from my husband or children.
I ♥ that my laundry will never again be caught up.
I ♥ that it doesn't take much to make me happy.
I ♥ that I have an insanely dysfunctional family (mother, father, oldest brother) & that I couldn't care less.
I ♥ that I choose not to live that way anymore & that I want no part of it.
I ♥ that I'm going to heaven.
I ♥ Jesus & what He did for me (if you don't know what I'm talking about, email me!)
I ♥ that I have a tremendous amount of faith.
I ♥ that I'm an extremely hard worker.
I ♥ a clean house.
I ♥ to clean.
I ♥ that * I * have 6 birthparents.
I ♥ that my heart hurts incredibly when I see abandoned orphans in various countries.
I ♥ that I want to bring every single one of them home.
I ♥ friendly people.
I ♥ that I'm goofy, silly & witty all rolled into one.
I ♥ who I am & what God has created in me.
I ♥ winter & having fires in the fireplace.
I ♥ tiny, chocolate covered donuts. And tiny, powdered sugar donuts.
I ♥ to see people helping other people.
I ♥ to help others.
I ♥ a clean, comfy bed.
I ♥ to sleep.
I ♥ putting on makeup & doing my hair.
I ♥ to shop.
I ♥ 7th Heaven, HGTV, Oprah (fun shows), Dr. Phil & funny comedies/sitcoms.
I ♥ that I've met a crazy, fun, sincere group of friends called the Grace Girls.
I ♥ Sonic Diet Coke.
I ♥ that I am a true, honest friend.
I ♥ to watch my children have a blast, whatever/wherever that may be.
I ♥ seeing excitement in their eyes.
I ♥ jewelry.
I ♥ my cute dog.
I ♥ taking everlasting photographs.
I ♥ Florida's beach.
I ♥ working in the yard and/or flower beds.
I ♥ that God has blessed me more than I deserve.
I ♥ that I'm learning to not sweat the small stuff.
I ♥ that I'm amazed at how smart my 5 year old is.
I ♥ love that my children are my mini me's.
I ♥ that I take nothing for granted.
I ♥ that I cherish every single moment.
I ♥ how my children can make me cry because I love them so very, very much.
I ♥ to hear "I love you Mommy".
I ♥ to have my 5 year old sleep with me, even though I hate it.
I ♥ that I love to go to church.
I ♥ to see my husband walk across my clean floors with shoes on, & then run back to the rug when he gets caught.
I ♥ that my new car has a sunroof & a dvd player for my children.
I ♥ looking at/in new houses.
I ♥ being organized & that I'm a perfectionist (most of the time).
I ♥ that I can laugh at myself.
I ♥ that people call me "bubbly".
I ♥ any & all animals.
I ♥ that I am blessed enough to be a play-at-home mom for my children.
I ♥ that I can't stand being away from my children.
I ♥ house projects.
I ♥ getting together with others.
I ♥ to decorate.
I ♥ that I cry more since I've had children.
I ♥ anything related to adoption.
I ♥ being spontaneous.
I ♥ to laugh. And laugh. And laugh.
I ♥ that my children are so funny & make me laugh all the time.
I ♥ that my husband has not bailed on me, due to all my 'baggage'.
I ♥ that my life is fun.
I ♥ that I am an honest person.
I ♥ that my husband is the best father in the world.
I ♥ hearing my children scream "Daddy!!" when he comes home from work.
I ♥ dropping Bentley off at school & him saying "I'll miss you today".
I ♥ picking Bentley up from school & him immediately asking me "soooooooooo, what'd ya do today?" before I have the chance to ask him.
I ♥ bargain shopping & saving money.
I ♥ the thought of someday moving out of Texas.
I ♥ that I don't give a flyin' flip what others think about me.
I ♥ that I am thankful & very content with what I have.
I ♥ that I hurt so bad when my children hurt.
I ♥ that life is one amazing journey.
I ♥ that life doesn't get any better than this.
Friday, February 12, 2010
Jaguar. She was down, more than she was up!
Mercedes lost her shoes about 6 times.
Our dish was loaded with snow (& probably in shock :) which means we had no tv for 6 hours! Gasp! Hubby came home & saved the day. He is such a jack-of-all-trades. Well, not really. The guy can barely hammer a nail. But we love him. ♥
Double shirts, pants & socks = dirty shirts, pants & socks + dirty gloves & hats = lots of laundry!
A few more photos tomorrow! Ü
(no snapshots. all manual.)